[C] is an original noitamina series by Kenji Nakamura under Tatsunoko Productions. Apparently, it has a decent start but it ended in a bad tone. Because of the ending, a lot of anime elitists and hardcore anime viewers pwned it into scrap metal. Yeah, this sort of thing ALWAYS happen since people usually jump into conclusion that a show sucked based on the "ending" instead of the overall score. Well, all the hate and hoopla will die down in a few months. With that, here’s the review.
It has starts with a simple concept of economics mixed with shounen card-game elements. It does have the vibes of a shounen cardgame but there’s a lot of ethics, philosophy and economics most especially when it comes in dealing with the future. Plus, it does reflect much on current events most especially when it comes to the economy and the current situation that the people are experiencing right now.
But the ending is something which most people would bitch about. Honestly, I think Nakamura should stick with a show which has an episodic formula (like his 2 previous works, Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko). But again, he’s not in charge of the writing of this show. Rather, you can all blame Noboru Takagi who did the script of his show. Quite a disappointment that he wrote two great shows (Baccano and Durarara). I don’t know what happened to him but I think his script for this show isn’t good enough for 11 episodes. It would be good to add in some extra episodes just to clear a few things and give more closure to the characters. Or have it 25/26 episodes but yeah, this show falls under the noitamina timeslot which usually has 11 episodes.
I’m not saying that the ending sucks. But it missed the right note which is why the message that the show is trying to portray is already muddled to some viewers. And it added a lot of loose ends which remained unresolved most especially on the rest of the characters.
Each character has its own motive when they’re in the Financial District. Kimimaro is a simple college student who clearly gets thrown the game and doesn’t have a standard goal until he realizes how much the game affects the people around him. Yeah, he’s boring and clearly, not a very interesting protagonist because this guy is doing what he’s going do based on his surroundings. So, yeah, he doesn’t really have a common goal at the start. His "love interest", Hanabi, isn’t interesting either. I understand that she got depressed thanks to Mikuni’s plan. But I find hard to believe if Kimimaro really loved her. It’s very one-sided.
Mikuni IS an interesting character. He clearly has goals which are set up way before he joins the Financial District and knows how the game is played until everything (or I could say, the whole world) is about to get fuck up. But then, he ended up as Lelouch-esque clone. Jennifer is also an interesting character who could see what is really going on in the District and cannot do something until it really happened. The other entres were interesting too though we only got some development from Ebara (Kimimaro’s teacher) and Sennoza (the philantrophist). Heck, throw in the photographer guy too since he helped Kimimaro a lot. The other entres (like those guys in the Starling guild) don’t do much as they’re just there to support Mikuni. I know that they have names but I forgot about them. so, they’re not really memorable. Plus, the ending didn’t give a clear understanding on what had happened to them.
On the assets, only Mashu gets some development. Unlike the other assets, Mashu gets a different treatment from Kimimaro who sees her like a human being. Her relationship with Kimimaro gradually develops throughout the show. For Q, yeah, she’s weird and interesting too. But we don’t know much about her other than she represent’s Mikuni’s future. And Masakaki really stands out on the show since he’s really a creepy version of Willy Wonka with the combination of Kyuubey.
The character designs is great but there are problems with the animation. Sometimes, the CGI effect does look great but it’s out of place and wonky. But I like the design of the Financial District which is cool and also the transition effects. The extensive use of CGI is what’s bothering me. CGI Masakaki looks great but it’s sometimes annoying to see him like that.
I like the animation of both the OP and ED. The OP shows a lot of reference of real-life situations while the ED uses simple 8-bit animation.
The OP rocks and I could say it’s one of best OPs for this season. The ED rocks too and it really fits the series. The music is awesome too and it really fits with the scenes.
The voice acting is perfect. I have qualms on the Engrish spoken by Japanese voice actors. This is the third series that I have watched which uses native English speakers (Night Raid 1931 and Eden of the East has some native English speakers too). But I noticed that there’s something wrong with the grammar spoken by the native speakers.
The battles are great but the how the battles are played could be really confusing. It’s not really a shounen card game, mind you. And if you’re not really an economics nerd, you really get confused with all the jargon used here. But even if you’re not one of them, you can still enjoy this show since it has some philosophy and psychology in it too.
But if you’re watching the show mainly on the battles, then you’re in the wrong place, kid. Go watch Yu-Gi-Oh or any shounen anime. But some see that it’s not really a standard noitamina show since they’re expecting it to be mature like any of those shows in that timeslot. AnoHana is indeed mature but because [C] has the elements of a shounen card game, this show may not be considered it as a noitamina anime.
BTW, this show is not about how money works. It shows the importance of money and how we should all be responsible for it. It is very interesting and decent to watch. It’s just that people aren’t looking enough to see the theme. Well, we all have different tastes so, yeah, we don’t agree much.
This is my first time in blogging a noitamina anime. I enjoyed those shows since they let you think for a while. Tatami Galaxy, House of Five Leaves, Eden of the East, Shiki, Kuuchuu Buranko and Mononoke are noitamina shows that I’ve watched and yet, they kept me glued to the screen.These shows are really for young adults since their stories are something which a kid or a teenager would not understand nor appreciate. Apparently, the noitamina timeslot didn’t get much ratings by the local viewers most especially with the 2 recent Winter 2011 animes. I haven’t watch them both actually. But I’m planning to watch Hosou Musou since it talks about gender identity. I know Fractale is one of the most talked about shows but I heard that the ending is messy and that the director got "crazy" when his show didn’t get much ratings. So, no, I don’t plan to watch this plus the Studio Ghibi-esque character designs didn’t help much.
[C] (and by extension, AnoHana) might have save the noitamina timeslot thanks to its original plot and interesting concept. But some people wouldn’t expect this show to be like an shounen cardgame. It’s not really popular as AnoHana but I could say that this show already received enough attention from viewers. But the downside of it is that a lot of people tend to bash it solely on the ending. However, [C] is indeed similar to Eden of the East except that, Eden of the East revolves much on Japanese politics and [C] revolves on economics. I don’t think a teenager or a kid would ever watch it. But if you’re interested in economics with some action, then this is the show for you.
Highs: Good concept, great voice acting and music
Lows: Rushed pacing, uninteresting protagonist, forgettable supporting cast, unsatisfying conclusion